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11/13/2016 6:35 PM
 

Hi All,

Long time listener, first time caller.  I've been reading the forums for a bit and have gotten a lot of ideas and thoughts on how to use the kit bag.  I decided to share how I've set mine up and get thoughts and feedback.

Bag:  Original kit bag (ranger green)

Use Case:  Primarily a day hike bag for hikes of 3-12 miles in the Central Cascades.  I occasionally use it as a supplementary bag for overnight hikes as well.  I wanted a bag that I could carry a firearms concealed on heavily used public trails, carry commonly used day use items as well as comfort items should I get stuck overnight.

Modifications:  I've only made one modification which was adding the 550 cord shelf legs to the mid-pouch that I've seen on several bags that allow it to act as a shelf.  Great idea!

Contents (large pocket to small):

  • Small bag on the shoulder strap is a SDU-5/E strobe light I got when I was in the Army.  I've updated it with a CR-123 mod from prc68.com that allows it to function with standard batteries.
  • Large Pocket:
  • Smith and Wesson 329PD w/ Buffalo Bore Lower Recoil 255 grn. Keith bullets at 1350 f.p.s.  I've also removed the offensive lock and replaced it with a plug from the Smith & Wesson forums. This load is a handful in this gun but it is a lightweight package that gets carried a lot and shot a little.  I have also tried my Glock 20 with a Streamlight TLR1-HL but that combination with an extra mag (30 rounds of 10mm total) is just a bit to heavy for me to carry for a fun hike.
  • Mid Pocket:
  • Platypus .5 L
  • Buff neck gaiter
  • Wool gloves
  • Dark Angel Medical - Blue Line Kit.  I looked at the HPG response kit ed. but I after taking the DA class I really wanted to add the set of chest seals this class comes with.  I realize you could improvise chest seals with the bag and tape in the HPG kit but didn't trust myself to create a set under the stressful conditions of actually needing them.  I also like the little nylon slip it comes with to keep the wear down on the vacuum packed bag.
  • Victorinox - I forget the model but it has a blade, saw and corkscrew with the nylon handles.  This is a supplement to the pocket knife I always carry.
  • 2 Tuff speed strips with 12 rounds of the above Buffalo Bore rounds.
  • Nylon spoon
  • Rite in the Rain notebook w/ pencil
  • Streamlight Microstream - picked this up based on this site's recommendations and I concur.
  • Small/front pocket:
  • AMK Pocket Survival Pak w/ added Micropur tabs
  • AMK heatsheet
  • Bic w/ Exotac case.  The case is too bulky but my Bic kept losing fuel and the old ziptie trick wasn't working.
  • 2x Always Clean wet wipes
  • 2x Advil Cold & Sinus - snivel gear
  • 2x Wet Fire cubes
  • Swedish firesteel
  • 2 sets foam ear plugs
  • Clif energy blocks - black cherry, favorite flavor
  • Bonk Breaker - almond butter and honey
  • Tanka Bar - spicy pepper
  • 2x AAA's in an ASP case - for the Microstream
  • 2x CR123's in an ASP case - dual use for the SDU-5/E and for the Streamlight TLR if I carry the Glock.

This my take on setting up a bag for my use case.  With a small flask of mid price point bourbon (e.g. Elijah Craig) an a couple of $8 dollar cigars I could be pretty content if I had to spend the night out.  I'll post a pic below.

I'd like to hear your take and thoughts on how to mix things up to make it even better.

Thanks,

-Steve

 

 

 
New Post
11/13/2016 7:00 PM
 
 
New Post
11/13/2016 11:12 PM
 
That's a well-reasoned kit! Two thoughts :

- Have you weighed the difference between the Smith and the Glock? I would be curious how much weight you saved.

- I always sub alcohol prep pads for moist hand wipes. I can use them for more things and they still get the hands clean!
 
New Post
11/14/2016 7:12 PM
 

Hi Wildemt,

  • The Glock with w/ the TLR-1 HL + extra mag (30 rounds of 10mm) - 55.82 oz.  I'll have to take the TLR off and reweigh things as it might be closer.  The Glock definitely has a flatter profile.
  • The 329PD w/ speed strips (18 rounds of 44) - 42.70 oz
  • I also have an original Charter Arms Bulldog 3in. in 44 Spl that I've thought about subbing in.  Less power but a much smaller & lighter package.

I like the alcohol prep pad idea but I'm carrying the moist wipes as a sub for dry TP and I'm not sure how the alcohol prep pads would work on that end...  Youch..  :)

Thanks for the feedback,

-Steve

 
New Post
11/15/2016 11:44 AM
 
Ha! I hadn't thought about them as a TP substitute. Carry on, carry on. Ouch.

That's an impressive amount of difference between the 20 and the 329PD. I hadn't expected it to be quite that much. I guess I really need one of those alloy-framed Smiths. :)


- Adam

 
New Post
11/15/2016 7:11 PM
 

Yeah, I was surprised as well.  I carried the Glock in the bag on a 3-4 mile hike in the Cascades and was definitely looking for a lighter option at the end.  Removing the light may be the ticket.

The 329PD is a great carry gun but even with the light recoil 44's it's still an impressive handful.  It's quite frankly got the worst recoil of any handgun I've ever shot and I'm a fairly experienced heavy recoiling handgun shooter.  No Smith 500s or 475 Linebaughs but definitely heavy duty 44s and 45 Colts.  The frame weight makes it challenging to shoot well.  But as a carry gun in potential bear country it's tough to beat for its weight class.  That said, I'm heading to Glacier National Park next year for vacation and I may suffer the weight of the Glock when I know I'm in actual brown bear country.

Take care,

-Steve

 
New Post
11/15/2016 7:24 PM
 

Adam,

Question for you.  Based on your Wildemt handle, do you have other medical training recommendations post-Dark Angel medical?  I thought the training was amazing and I'd be interested in furthering my education in that area a bit.

Steve

 
New Post
11/16/2016 11:55 AM
 
Hey Steve,

I'll send you a PM with my email and we can talk there. It's an area of passion and knowledge for me that I love to share!

- Adam
 
New Post
11/28/2016 12:10 PM
 

Don't even call this advice. Just thoughts.

◾Small bag on the shoulder strap is a SDU-5/E strobe light

For search and rescue? Fire at night and signal mirror during the day might cut some weight and won't need batteries.

◾Large Pocket:

◾Smith and Wesson 329PD

FWIW, I can pretty easily cock and fire (single action) a Taurus 357 through the front of my (recon) kb.

◾Mid Pocket:

◾Platypus .5 L

That might get me five miles in cold weather. Have you considered a legitimate hydration pack?

◾Buff neck gaiter

◾Wool gloves

◾Dark Angel Medical - Blue Line Kit.

Personally, I'd cover bug bites and blisters before I got into trauma. Personal choice.

◾Victorinox - I forget the model but it has a blade, saw and corkscrew with the nylon handles.  This is a supplement to the pocket knife I always carry.

I ran into this advice online: "Don't take a spare of anything that doesn't rhyme with socks."

◾2 Tuff speed strips with 12 rounds of the above Buffalo Bore rounds.

18 rounds of ammunition, a pint of water, and a few candy bars? Where are you hiking?!

◾Nylon spoon

Why?

◾Rite in the Rain notebook w/ pencil

If you are only going a few miles, you could easily use your phone for this.


◾Streamlight Microstream - picked this up based on this site's recommendations and I concur.

Haven't tried it. You can get 6x lumens for +.4oz out of a ZebraLight.

◾Small/front pocket:

◾AMK Pocket Survival Pak w/ added Micropur tabs

A lot of repair tools. What are you planning to repair? What are you going to drink while you wait hours for the tabs?

◾AMK heatsheet

◾Bic w/ Exotac case.  The case is too bulky but my Bic kept losing fuel and the old ziptie trick wasn't working.

◾2x Always Clean wet wipes

◾2x Advil Cold & Sinus - snivel gear

◾2x Wet Fire cubes

◾Swedish firesteel

◾2 sets foam ear plugs

◾Clif energy blocks - black cherry, favorite flavor

◾Bonk Breaker - almond butter and honey

Do people bonk while hiking level ground? I feel better without sugar unless I really need it (cycling). YMMV.

◾Tanka Bar - spicy pepper

◾2x AAA's in an ASP case - for the Microstream

◾2x CR123's in an ASP case - dual use for the SDU-5/E and for the Streamlight TLR if I carry the Glock.

Two battery types in a kit bag is, I believe, an opportunity for improvement.

 
New Post
11/29/2016 11:55 AM
 
◾Victorinox - I forget the model but it has a blade, saw and corkscrew with the nylon handles.  This is a supplement to the pocket knife I always carry.


I ran into this advice online: "Don't take a spare of anything that doesn't rhyme with socks."

 

Alex - So I read this and was like "What the hell rhymes with socks? Cocks?" It made me chuckle. 

Most of the advice I've run into about carrying multiples is "two is one, one is none." Which obviously shouldn't apply to everything or even most things, and might not even apply to what is being talked about here. (I rarely carry my multitool, mostly due to lack of use and its size/weight.) The way I've had it explained to me best is have two ways to carry out a specific function. Maybe I'm weird, but I like having two different cutting tools normally. (But I'm also a gear whore and love anything sharp and tend to over pack.) 

When I'm hiking in the Smokies, I generally need something to break my bonk around mile 5 or 6, especially under load. So I think carrying a bonk breaker is a pretty decent idea.

I totally agree with you on the water front - in hot weather, I aim for 1L an hour, and in colder weather I aim for 1/2L an hour. For hot weather because I drink so much, I often carry some electrolytes too. I also liked your comment on batteries. That's been something I've been working on personally - it really frustrates me having multiple batteries. 

- J 

 
New Post
11/29/2016 12:13 PM
 
I would point out that you aren't really being honest in your comparison of the pistols

329 with 18rds vs the G20 with 30rds and a light. What does the G weight with only 18rds and no light? If you just like the 329 fine, but of course almost twice the ammunition, a spare magazine, and a light weights more. My guess is that you will find that they are pretty dang close in weight or that the G is actually lighter depending on what grain weight you carry in 10mm. If I am carrying a double stack I carry one spare magazine on my pack belt and nothing in the kit bag.

Personally, I don't carry any 1st aid in my kit bag that stuff is in my day pack, but do carry a means to process water and also some gels and one heed. I don't set my kit bag or packs for that matter up for specific trips. They are setup for more general use so the gel and heed rarely get used, but on the trips they do I don't have to worry about adding them or repacking they are just there. I also have moved away from any spare batteries in my kit bag, again in my pack, I ditched the write in the rain for 3 3x5 cards and again they seldom get used. My spoon lives in my kit bag so I am always ready for that offer of whatever (really just so it is handy for eating with on multiple outings and so I don't have to get it out of my pack). of course I gain the weight back with a set of binos (used a lot) and a small camera.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
New Post
12/3/2016 6:23 PM
 

Alex,

Thanks for the comments, this is great feedback.  I typically carry water along in either a standalone camelback bottle or a stand alone hydration pack in addition to the kit bag depending on length of the hike.    For the med kit, I'm definitely more worried about trauma than bug bites or blisters (typically I apply bug repellent prior to leaving and in my experience blisters are more about prep than dealing with things after the fact).  I'll have to look into the Zebra light and your comment about the batteries is definitely valid.  I'll have to put some thoughts into this.

Thanks again,

-Steve

 
New Post
12/3/2016 6:28 PM
 

Hey Scott,

I wasn't trying to necessarily compare the pistols directly, these are just some of the options I've been weighing for my situation.  I definitely could eliminate the extra mag on the Glock and remove the light.  I also have a Glock 19 I could carry at a lower power factor or the Charter Arms Bulldog with 15 rounds or so.  This is an evolving process for me which is why I appreciate all the advice.  

As with Alex's comments, ditching the extra batteries may be an opportunity to save some weight.  Putting the handgun on my belt may make things a bit easier as well but I haven't made that leap yet.  The kit bag is nice to keep everything contained into a single unit I can grab on the way out for a hike.  More opportunity for evaluation.

-Steve

 
New Post
12/7/2016 5:40 PM
 
I love threads like this because they make me evaluate my own kit and rationale for the items I carry. Thank you for posting this. Personal kits are just that, personal, and what works for one doesn't always work for everyone, so take my thoughts below as just my own mental ramblings. I hope there is something in here that helps.

First off, for your expected use of this kit (day hikes on public trails), how much of this kit would get used during an unplanned overnight? I try to dedicate a bulk of the weight that am carrying toward these items. You do seem particularly well set up for a prolonged shootout; this is a bit different of a focus than I have for my kit, but YMMV.

This may sound silly, but I have a bit of a virtual measuring stick that I'll use to determine whether I'd prefer to save weight with items in my pack...beef summer sausage. The comfort and long lasting calories that I can get on the trail from a beef summer sausage sets the bar pretty high. :) For instance, would I rather carry heavier items a,b,c if I could potentially carry a beef summer sausage? Suddenly, the multitude of spare pouches, prepackaged first aid kits, etc are gone, more items are in ziplock bags vs heavy plastic and duplicate items are gone.

Also, one substitution that I have chosen for my kit of this type is that I now carry a very lightweight petzl headlamp instead of a handheld flashlight. I find it pretty likely, almost a certainty, that during an unplanned stay in the woods I will need my hands free for chores after dark. If I want to use it as a handheld, I can strap it to a stick. I'm a big fan of the e+lite by petzl for this.

Lastly, water. Is the 0.5L platypus full when you grab your bag for a hike or is this just an empty bag in your kit? I trust you are leaving the house with some sort of water vessel that is full of water. Are you carrying a full nalgene and then carrying this bag as a spare? If this is a backup then I'd ditch it. If this is your primary water vessel, then you might consider something larger.

Cheers
 
New Post
12/8/2016 8:37 AM
 
My point was that your rejected a more capable handgun because it weighted to much, but in part that weight (light) is exactly why the G is a more capable set up. Also if you are comfortable with 18 rounds for the revolver I am not sure why you wouldn't be comfortable with 18 rounds for the G. Not trying to be argumentative, I am just saying that if you really want to make comparisons and jettison something due to weight you need to make sure that you are making correct comparisons. Personally, I would be more than happy to carry the extra weight of the light as in my opinion it is a requirement for back country, and would be fine with the 15 +1 capacity of the loaded G in my kit bag.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
New Post
12/8/2016 11:52 AM
 
360joules wrote:
I love threads like this because they make me evaluate my own kit and rationale for the items I carry. Thank you for posting this. Personal kits are just that, personal, and what works for one doesn't always work for everyone, so take my thoughts below as just my own mental ramblings. I hope there is something in here that helps.

First off, for your expected use of this kit (day hikes on public trails), how much of this kit would get used during an unplanned overnight? I try to dedicate a bulk of the weight that am carrying toward these items. You do seem particularly well set up for a prolonged shootout; this is a bit different of a focus than I have for my kit, but YMMV.

This may sound silly, but I have a bit of a virtual measuring stick that I'll use to determine whether I'd prefer to save weight with items in my pack...beef summer sausage. The comfort and long lasting calories that I can get on the trail from a beef summer sausage sets the bar pretty high. :) For instance, would I rather carry heavier items a,b,c if I could potentially carry a beef summer sausage? Suddenly, the multitude of spare pouches, prepackaged first aid kits, etc are gone, more items are in ziplock bags vs heavy plastic and duplicate items are gone.

Also, one substitution that I have chosen for my kit of this type is that I now carry a very lightweight petzl headlamp instead of a handheld flashlight. I find it pretty likely, almost a certainty, that during an unplanned stay in the woods I will need my hands free for chores after dark. If I want to use it as a handheld, I can strap it to a stick. I'm a big fan of the e+lite by petzl for this.

Lastly, water. Is the 0.5L platypus full when you grab your bag for a hike or is this just an empty bag in your kit? I trust you are leaving the house with some sort of water vessel that is full of water. Are you carrying a full nalgene and then carrying this bag as a spare? If this is a backup then I'd ditch it. If this is your primary water vessel, then you might consider something larger.

Cheers

 

I'm not sure I like your method. I might be carrying a Ute full of beef summer sausage and nothing else.

 
New Post
12/9/2016 5:12 PM
 
LOL!

There's a friend of ours who, on shorter day hikes only, carries what we have come to call the "pack bar." It's all she carries on these short trips. But you know, oddly enough, she has never gone for want of anything on the trail. I imagine a pack full of beef summer sausage might be just as successful. :)
 
New Post
1/15/2017 3:47 PM
 

 

Thread Update:

Snowshoe day hike in the Cascades yesterday.  Swapped out the Smith for the Glock for a reason I didn't think about originally - width.  The Glock is not a slim gun but it is relatively flat.  The N-frame cylinder added an odd bulk to the pack when combined with the Dark Angel kit in the mid pocket.  The Glock seem to make the back of the pack a bit flatter overall against my chest.  I carried the extra mag and the weight really wasn't a issue.

I ended up removing the Platypus and added a Camelbak sport bottle hanging off of the chest strap on a carabiner.  Worked well for a several hour day hike.  Now that I passed my HAM radio technician exam (KI7JOH!) I added a Baofeng UV-5R to the shoulder strap the SDU-5/E.  It's a light little radio and carried well clipped to the elastic strap manager.  

Great day out on snowhoes with the wife.  Very happy with the system overall and we'll see how things evolve.

Best of 2017 to everyone!

-Steve

 
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